Luka Doncic went down at perhaps the worst possible time for the Dallas Mavericks.
Doncic left their regular season finale win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night. An MRI on Monday confirmed he sustained a left calf strain, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, but the team didn’t publicly reveal his status for Game 1 of their opening round playoff series against the Utah Jazz.
Doncic, with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter of their 130-120 win at the American Airlines Center, started to drive through the lane before he kicked the ball out to the wing after meeting multiple Spurs players at the top of the key.
Though it didn’t look like too much happened to him in the lane, Doncic reached for his left leg right after taking a step following his pass.
Doncic walked off the court immediately and went straight to the locker room.
The team ruled him out quickly with a left calf strain. Doncic finished the night with 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
While it depends on the grade of the calf strain, the average recovery from a calf strain this season is 16 days.
Kidd said his plan was to play his starters normally in the third quarter, as he expected to have at least five days off before their first playoff game. He insisted they weren’t looking at the New Orleans Pelicans-Golden State Warriors score, either — which directly impacted their playoff seeding.
“Injury is part of the game. Absence is a part of the game. We’ll see how he feels,” Kidd said, via Bally Sports Southwest. “The nice thing is we have won home court, so we don’t have to travel, and we’ve got a week until we play.”
The Mavericks finished with the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, and will open the playoffs against the Jazz on Saturday.
“This will be a great test for us, and we just have to take it one game at a time,” Kidd said of the Jazz, via Bally Sports Southwest. “They’re well coached, and they have very talented players and their schemes, they play at a high level and their defense is really good. This should be a fun series.”